The Obama camp is aware of the request and has reportedly said they don't have a response yet -- which means there is, dare we way it, hope.
One student sparked a viral movement with a novel idea that actually got the attention of former President Barack Obama. "In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice," he wrote on Twitter. "We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020."
The student, who is a senior himself and goes by the Twitter handle Lincoln, also helped spread the hashtag #ObamaCommencement2020, which quickly went viral on Tuesday night and continued trending Top 5 throughout the day on Wednesday.
When someone suggested it would be a great move because it would upset President Trump, Lincoln was quick to shut down the partisan angle. "It isn't about that," he replied. "It's about someone who speaks for my generation. Like Barack Obama was the first President I can remember. The classroom mock elections, watching his inauguration in school. That's what this is about. Hearing that voice of hope again."
Lincoln's original tweet was retweeted more than 30,000 times and liked more than 150,000 times. As the message spread, many began asking that his wife Michelle Obama join him in giving the speech to all the seniors who will be missing out on a traditional graduation, and commencement speech, due to ongoing stay-at-home restrictions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Hi @BarackObama! Like most high school/college seniors, I'm saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation. In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020.
By Wednesday evening, his message had even gotten the attention of Obama himself, or at least his people. A source for his camp tells People that the Obamas are flattered by the suggestion, but don't have a response yet.
Notably, that is not a no.
Wether he does or not, it isn't about that. It's about someone who speaks for my generation. Like Barack Obama was the first President I can remember. The classroom mock elections, watching his inauguration in school. That's what this is about. Hearing that voice of hope again.
Both of the Obamas have given plenty of speeches, and even plenty of commencement speeches in their time. It is true that this is an unprecedented situation that is robbing an entire class of the graduation rite of passage, not to mention almost the final months of their school year.
And Lincoln is right that for most of these students, Obama has been the president they grew up with. He swept into office when they were in grade school on a message of hope. And isn't that was a commencement speech during these times should be about?
You can check out some of the growing enthusiasm for Lincoln's idea in the tweets below:
Having Obama do a Commencement Speech to the High School/College classes of 2020 would be amazing! My daughter is now looking at graduating without a job and living with mom and dad 😢. Would love for him to speak about hope for the future and decency. #ObamaCommencement2020 https://t.co/yEXb7fpQH4
That is a brilliant idea ! In a complete absence of leadership, his voice and wisdom can inspire our future generation of leaders. His would be one of the most reassuring voices in a time that desperately calls for a steady hand at the wheel. #Obamacommencement2020
Unlike alot of students this year, I was able to attend my high school graduation. I think this would be an amazing idea since so many students are going to miss out on an important milestone.#ObamaCommencement2020 https://t.co/cBefm4fFam
The #ObamaCommencement2020 idea made me smile this morning. For many of these kids, I bet the first time they heard a president speak was Obama's “speech to students” (it was about 12 years ago). Fitting to bookend with a commencement address. https://t.co/uJ0BqDmiHm
@BarackObama President Obama, this country's children saw how much you cared about them & future. My son, a college sophomore, is truly struggling with the situation. Please consider a message to encourage them. Signed, Mom #ObamaCommencement2020
Oh President @BarackObama won't you please honor this request. Our nation is hurting, you are a light in this bleak darkness. Please give a #ObamaCommencement2020 to all those who are graduating & to all of us who remember a sweeter time when USA leadership was assured. THANK U! https://t.co/Y7PrWx6XiB